an episode of ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ has ever changed your life,
you might be a redneck.” – Jeff Foxworthy
never got the Jeff Foxworthy joke, mainly because I had never seen an
episode of Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris (who may
come beat me up if I don’t say something nice about him, so
somewhere in here, I’ll try). It was a TV show from the 90s and
because I was completing my bachelor’s during the first part of the
90s, then teaching high school in the last half, I just never got
around to watching a lot of TV during that decade.
other day, I came home to a TV that I’d accidentally left on and an
episode of Walker was on. I couldn’t find the remote right
away, so I just left it on.
I understand the joke. Now I understand why I never bothered to try
and find an episode of it to watch. There are not enough words in the
English language to describe how bad this show was. Not only was it
poorly acted (faces drawn on popsicle sticks could have done better),
it was even more poorly written.
particular episode had Walker and his crew trying to find a school
bus full of kids along with his girlfriend or wife (or whatever she
was) that had been kidnapped by a villain who was too bad of an actor
to be a villain on the old Batman TV series. The bad guy
buried the bus underground and Walker had to find them before they
ran out of air. The villain sends them a videotape as proof of life.
the videotape, despite them being buried underground, there is both
lightning and thunder which leads Walker to figure out that the storm
is right on top of the victims when the tape was made. I’m not sure
how that lightning managed to get through the ground to show up on
tape, but that’s not the most ridiculous thing we’ll see in this
girlfriend gives him a clue as to what time the tape was made. This
allows him to figure out where the tape was made because obviously
the storm that produced the lightning and thunder wasn’t mobile. It
had found a spot that it liked and decided to camp out right there.
It must not have taken Walker long to get the tape, play it, make a
deduction, find the storm and drive to the spot where the bus was
buried because the storm was still waiting for them when they got
there! Is that amazing police work or what?!!
we’re not done yet!
only was that storm waiting for them, it was now producing (gasp!)
tornadoes. On the horizon, there is a funnel cloud on the ground,
just waiting. As soon as the funnel notices someone trying to rescue
a bunch of kids, it heads straight for them.
obvious at this point that no one who was on the writing, directing,
editing, or production of this show has ever been near a tornado.
Since the show is supposedly set in Texas, I would think that they
might have had a little experience with tornadoes, but obviously not.
A little bit of research might have prevented them from becoming a
of all, those of us in Illinois know that storm systems move. They
may be slow, but they move. They don’t hang around waiting to
when caught in a tornado, the best thing to do is head for a low
spot. If you have a basement available, that’s the recommended
spot. When the cops find the buried school bus, they rush to get the
kids OUT of the bus and into an OPEN area. In other words, instead of
getting in the bus themselves where everyone will be safe, they raced
to get everyone into the path of the tornado! This may have been the
stupidest two minutes of television I’ve ever seen.
they get the kids (and an overweight bus driver) out, they head for a
drainage culvert where they hide from the storm as it tries to suck
them out and send them somewhere over the rainbow. If somebody –
anybody – actors, crew members, vending machine filler-uppers –
would have thought about this for just a second and a half, they
might have realized that being safe underground was a much better
place to be than out in the open.
then they couldn’t have done the really stupid scene where the
funnel headed straight for Chuck Norris and his buddy. Like anyone
who has never been in a tornado, the writers assumed that the funnel
was a real, physical thing with real sides. When you see a funnel on
the ground, what you are seeing is a debris field or dust that is
being swirled by the cyclonic winds. Those who haven’t been in a
tornado tend to treat it like a car or van that just happens to drive
by and that you can reach out and touch. I honestly thought for a
moment that Chuck was going to hop out and karate chop the tornado
he did not, the bad guy was caught, and hopefully no one who ever
watched this episode ever remembers it if they get caught in a
tornado, because it could change their life, but certainly not in a
wait. I still I have to say something nice about Norris or he might
stop by and lay a beat down on me.
. . uh . . . well….
just take my chances.